European Stores Begin to Reopen

Supersize me.

That’s the sentiment of Spanish fashion giant Mango, whose commitment to building megastores remains steadfast, even as retailers around the world experience an imbalance of supply and demand — too much of the former and not enough of the latter.

“We’ve been transforming the company’s store network at a record rate,” said vice chairman Daniel López, adding that Mango has invested 600 million euros, or $650 million at current exchange, “in company stores alone, to which we need to add the franchises. The customer will always be at the center of our strategy. This will remain our goal, which is why we believe that the megastore is one of our key tools.”

Since unveiling the strategy in 2013, Mango has opened 200 megastores, including 27 last year.

A 22,000-square-foot megastore selling women’s, men’s and kids is bowing Thursday in Madrid. “There’s no doubt that this is one of our most important stores today,” López told WWD. “It’s not just because of the concept and size — although it is one of our biggest stores after units in Italy, Ireland and Turkey. It’s also important because it’s located in the Spanish capital, which is a relevant point for us in terms of the national stores network.”

Compared to the average store format of 3,200 square feet, megastores range in size between 8,600 and 16,000 square feet. Some, in flagship locations, can be as large as 32,000 square feet.

Megastores have several advantages over smaller units, according to López. “Stocking all the lines in the same store allows us to simplify the entire in-store experience,” he said. “Megastores are always about improving the customer shopping experience.”

In addition, the large units encourage cross-selling, and not just within one category, but across categories for the entire family. “In the same store, you’ll find clothes for women, men and kids, and each has its own area and personality,” López said. “Megastores stock larger collections than conventional stores so we can satisfy the needs of our customers for every occasion with a fashionable and dynamic offer and a high rotation of products in the store.”

Mango has increased its offer with new lines and added size ranges, such as February’s launch of a sustainable fashion collection, and the recent introductions of bridal and maternity, along with an extension of Violeta by Mango to European size 54, which is equivalent to U.S. 3X.

López said Mango’s embrace of megastores began when the retailer “detected a need. The store model at the time prevented us from displaying the entire collection. We decided to create bigger stores in 2013 and our store network has been transformed in record time.

“This has involved changing the image of stores to make the customer shopping experience even more rewarding: larger stores where all the collections can be explored in a more dynamic way.”

The retailer said its 2015 investment in new stores was 300 million euros, or $323 million. At its “El Hangar” design center in Palau-solità i Plegamans, Spain, Mango designs some 18,000 garments and accessories each year. The company did sales of 2.33 billion euros in 2015, a 15 percent increase over 2014. López credited the megastores with much of the gain.

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